If you’ve been feeling a budget pinch lately, that doesn’t mean your marketing has to follow suit. There are plenty of creative marketing ideas you can try. So, if you are faced with limited promotional dollars, read on for low-cost marketing ideas that can help you create a big impact on volunteers, donors and other supporters.
Create something shareable
Thanks to smartphones and free editing software, creating a simple explainer video is easier and less expensive than ever before. Show what your organization does to better the community or share a heart-tugging testimonial. Post your videos on social media platforms, like Facebook® or YouTube®, and ask people to share them. It’ll help your content—and nonprofit—go viral and get seen. Enter those who share your video into a prize drawing for a budget-friendly giveaway, such as lip balm or breath mints.
Optimize your website
If your organization has a website, you’ll want to optimize its content for search terms people would use to find you—that’s called search engine optimization (SEO). If help from SEO experts or a marketing company isn’t in your budget, you can use these steps to improve your chances of being found:
- Research keywords using a paid tool like Moz®—or a free tool like Google® Trends—to discover which keywords people use that are relevant to your organization.
- Optimize your website by including those keywords in headers, subheaders and meta descriptions.
- Add relevant content, like blogs and social posts, to create additional keyword-rich opportunities.
- Make sure your organization can be found in Google My Business, Google Maps and other local listings to make it easy for local volunteers and other supporters to find you.
- Help create backlinks to your website by asking corporate partners and news websites that feature you in stories to link back to your site.
Create an email campaign
Email is a great low-cost marketing idea. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2017, email helped generate more than one-quarter of nonprofits’ revenue. Use email to share recent accomplishments, recruit volunteers or ask for donations. To maximize your email impact:
- Create separate mailing lists for annual donors, one-time donors, volunteers and other types of supporters.
- Include a call to action, whether you want the recipient to click on a video or sign up for monthly donations.
- Track your open and click-through rates to determine how well your email content is working.
Invite user-generated content
Creative marketing ideas don’t have to be developed only by you. User-generated content—like pictures, videos, social posts and reviews—helps spread the word about your organization. And it comes at little or no cost to you. To encourage people to share the love:
- Find which social platforms your fans use most and maintain a presence there.
- Create a specific, unique hashtag and encourage supporters to use it when they share content.
- Hold a contest encouraging people to share a picture and tag you in exchange for a cool prize, like a promotional hat, polo shirt or water bottle.
- Stay engaged with your followers by checking in on your hashtags and thanking people who like, share and comment on your posts.
A small spend with a big reach
As a nonprofit, you work hard to make every penny generate maximum impact. And these low-cost marketing ideas will help you reach supporters while ensuring their donations go toward serving the community.